I'm back sailing on the Long Island Sound. It has been a while. Last time was in 1985 and all I remember is light air and it seams like nothing has changed - Writes Magnus Liljedahl.
Report by event leader Magnus Liljedahl:
The practice race was super light and the first race started out with a four-hour postponement.
On a sad note, the legend of Milford, Mead Bachelor, passed away last week. Mead retired from racing Stars last year. This event was supposed to be a tribute to his 50 years in the class. He is forever missed by all of his friends and fellow sailors.
The wind strength was 6-15 knots and the direction south east. Finally the breeze filled in. It wasn't much, but enough to barely make the committee boat flags fly. The first start was heavily committee boat favored and it was called back. The second try, about 20 minutes later was good and the race was on.
Mark and I started towards the pin end. We didn't have a great start and had to tack several times to clear our air.
Sustronk/Finch (CAN) took the early lead on the left while we tacked up the middle left. About 2/3 up the beat, the leader came out of the right. I couldn't tell at the time, but it was Lowe/Higgs (BAH). They were a mile ahead, but chances were they had gone to far. Mark and I tried to survive off of the hip of Whipple/Strube (USA) on the long starboard tack towards the mark. The rookie team of Hall/Monk (CAN) were leading our group. Brun/Peters were to leeward and in front, but a huge righty, as we closed in on the mark, made everyone on our right over stand (anywhere from a little bit to a huge amount). The breeze was, all of a sudden, picking up to about 15 knots and big changes were about to take place.
Mark and I got around in 7th, behind the leader Hall/Monk, Allen/Fatih (USA) and Szabo/Iverson (USA). The offset mark was way down. We put up the whisker pole the get there, but that was a little bit of a mistake. Lowe/Higgs rode over us, but it was an obvious gybe around the offset and the next leg would become a reach.
We got up in the "passing lane", and hiked as hard as we could. The gusts came from the left and it was important to stay high and get the full effect. We passed almost every one in front of us, except Szabo/Iverson (USA).
The second weather mark was moved to 210 degrees. We had a good rounding and managed to survive on the hip of Szabo/Iverson and a lift put us up and almost ahead. They tacked, about 3/5 up the beat and we almost were able to lee bow them, but Mark decided to duck and set up on their starboard hip. The wind now headed a little and Szabo/Iverson finally took advantage of the situation, tacked, and crossed us by a fair margin. Then, all of a sudden their outhaul broke and while they performed an emergency repair, we got a lot closer. We now approached the weather mark on the starboard lay line as Szabo/Iverson came in from the left. They were almost able to lee bow us, but elected to dip and take our transom. We now rounded in first, followed by Szabo/Iverson and Allen/Fatih.
The final run to the finish was pretty dramatic. I had a hard time to find the finish line and, luckily, so did the others. We gybed right after the mark and everyone followed. We never let anyone below our course as we figured on a gybe at a later stage. We got to that point and did gybe, but we still couldn't see the mark. Finally we knew where it was and it was all boat handling and hustle from here and on.
There was some final confusion as we were about to cross the line. Normally, the committee boat is to your right and the pin (or the pin boat) is to your left. However, this time the larger committee boat acted as the pin boat and another vessel was to the right.
We won the race with a great bit of luck. Szabo/Iverson had probably sailed on to an easy victory if they didn't brake down. I feel bad for them, but deep inside, I'll take any win, no matter how they come.
MacCausland/Delaney (USA), did a fantastic job on the second run. They gained boats and distance to finish third in the race.
Two races have now been completed, but at the time there was no report available for Race Two.
Top three, Race 1:
Top 10, after 2 races:
1. Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl 4 pts
2. George Szabo III & George Iverson 7 pts
3. Kevin Hall & Craig Mark 8 pts
4. Vincent Brun & Rick Peters 11 pts
5. Howie Shiebler & Brian Sharpe 18 pts
6. Paul Sustronk & John Finch 19 pts
7. Doug Schofield & Robert Schofield 24 pts
8. John A. MacCausland & Sean Delaney 25 pts
9. Rob Maine & Kevin Murphy 25 pts
10. David Watt & Darin Jensen 26 pts